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Spirituality, Karma, and the Law of Attraction

Spirituality, Karma, and the Law of Attraction

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Spirituality, Karma, and the Law of Attraction

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  1. Spirituality, Karma, and the Law of Attraction Dennis Blejer School of Practical Philosophy and Meditation, Boston Theosophical Society in Boston 15 May 2009

  2. Introduction • The Law of Attraction has been presented in recent years via “The Secret”, and by Jack Canfield, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and others (although much older sources exist all the way back to the Veda) • The essential message is that you can get what you want from life (abundance, success, etc) and how to do it

  3. The Law of Attraction (Wikipedia) • Know what you want. (Socrates, gold) • Ask the universe for it. • Feel, behave, and know as if the object of your desire is on its way. • Be open to receive it and let go of (the attachment) to the outcome.

  4.  Jesus Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?   Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

  5. Veda • Things are achieved by: • Austerity (sacrifice) and meditation (concentration) • Buddhi (reason) and dharma (duty and righteousness) • Fate (destiny) and effort

  6. Objective • Is the LOA the whole story? • To present the Law of Attraction in light of the greater Law of Karma and in the context of Spirituality • The Law of Karma contains the Law of Attraction • What do spiritual teachings say about the Law of Attraction?

  7. Dhammapada • We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with an impure mind and trouble will follow you as the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart. • We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with a pure mind and happiness will follow you as your shadow, unshakable.

  8. Proverbs • 23.1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: • 23.2 And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite. • 23.3 Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat. • 23.4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. • 23.5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. • 23.6 Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: • 23.7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. • 23.8 The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words. • 23.9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words. • 23.10  Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: • 23.11  For their redeemer is mighty; he shall plead their cause with thee. • 23.12  Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.(The Ancient Wisdom or the Perennial Philosophy)

  9. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (1864-1912) • “Mind is the master-power that moulds and makes, and man is mind, and evermore he takes the tool of thought, and shaping what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass: environment is but his looking-glass.”

  10. As a Man Thinketh (cont.) by James Allen (1864-1912) • Read pages 11 – middle of 14 • Read pages mid. 23- mid. 24 • Read pages 31 - 33 • Read pages mid 45 – mid 46

  11. Thought Power:Its Control and CultureAnnie Besant (published in 1903) • The difficulties with mind • Read page mid. 26

  12. Karma – The Law of Action • Karma: simply means action. • Good action • Evil action • Right action • Good and evil actions are motivated by the desire for a result and produce kriyamana karma; future actions • Right action is action that is performed in response to a need and does not produce any future action; it is selfless action that is not motivated by desire • “That which is most beloved of the agent is his karma” • That which is held in the heart

  13. Karma • Praarabdha karma: According to Sri Swami Sivananda: “That portion of the sanchita karma which influences human life in the present incarnation is called praarabdha. It is ripe for reaping. It cannot be avoided or changed. It is only exhausted by being experienced. You pay your past debts. Praarabdha karma is that which has begun and is actually bearing fruit. It is selected out of the mass of the sanchita karma." - "All About Hinduism" by Sri Swami Sivananda • Kriyamana karma is created in the present and the consequences will be experienced in the future. • The Law of Attraction deals with kriyamana karma not praarabda karma

  14. Karma • “Sanchit is that which is basically at the foundation; the praarabdhah is that which is presently available to the person as the effect of the sanchit. In this way sanchit is the total balance and praarabdhah is the cash in hand. The kriyamaanah is that which one will get in the future by his activities in the present.”(Shantaananda Saraswati)

  15. Karma • “The effect of the praarabdhah presents itself as favorable or unfavorable situations for man’s development and if one chooses to handle them consciously then he not only steps forward but changes bad influences into good.” • “The kriyamaanah is that which one would collect in due course according to the type of activities which he will perform. If there is something basically wrong in the sanchit then even when presented with a good opportunity for development, the person will not avail himself of it and will let it go. If otherwise, then he will make the best use of the opportunities presented to him by coming into the realm of conscious activities.”(Sri Shantaananda Saraswati)

  16. Karma and Reincarnation • “Sometimes it is seen that people do all sorts of bad deeds and yet enjoy a happy and comfortable life and also that some people engage themselves in good deeds and suffer a lot. The explanation is that what they are availing is the praarabdah and what they are doing is motivated by sanchit and is forming a part of kriyamaanah to give them better or worse result later on.” (Shantaananda Saraswati)

  17. Reincarnation • Read from “Reincarnation” by Emmet Fox, pages mid 9 - top of 10

  18. Karma – BlavatskyKey to Theosophy • “But if you ask me to define its effects (karma) and tell you what these are in our belief, I may say that the experience of thousands of ages has shown us that they are absolute and unerring equity, wisdom, and intelligence. For Karma in its effects is an unfailing redresser of human injustice, and of all the failures of nature; a stern adjuster of wrongs; a retributive law which rewards and punishes with equal impartiality. It is in the strictest sense, no respecter of persons, though, on the other hand, it can neither be propitiated, nor turned aside by prayer.” • “We consider it as the Ultimate Law, the source, origin and fount of all other laws which exist throughout Nature. Karma is the unerring law which adjusts effect to cause, on the physical, mental, and spiritual planes of being.

  19. Karma – Blavatsky, cont. • As no cause remains without its due effect from the greatest to least, from a cosmic disturbance down to the movement of your hand, and as like produces like, Karma is that unseen and unknown law which adjusts wisely, intelligently and equitably each effect to its cause, tracing the latter back to its producer. Though itself unknowable, its action is perceivable. …since he receives his due for all, it is obvious that he will be made to atone for all sufferings which he has caused, just as he will reap in joy and gladness the fruits of all the happiness and harmony he had helped to produce.”

  20. Points about Karma • Everyone is subject to his/her praarabda karma and must face it head on – no getting around it • Practicing the principles of the Law of Attraction for selfish reasons creates kriyamaanah karma and is not the path of liberation and enlightenment • “Be careful what you wish for”

  21. Spirituality • The path of Self-realization follows the Perennial Philosophy, also known as the Ancient Wisdom or the Holy Tradition • What is realized is the Law of One, that there is only one Self or Being • “I am the Truth, the Life, and the Way” (Jesus) • “I am that I am” (Old Testament) • “That Thou Art” (Upanishad) • The Universal Self is real,the world is an illusion,the individual self and the Universal Self are not different (Shankara)

  22. Spirituality (Jiivanmuktiviveka) • “He, who is awake in sleep, who has no waking, whose understanding is devoid of desires, is called jiivanmukta” • “He, the man of vast intelligence, who does away with all desires from the mind and remains devoid of agitation, is liberated, and he is the supreme lord” • “The scriptures have been studied in detail, and for long the views and conclusions were exchanged mutually, and the conclusion is that there is no better state than the state of a sage brought about by renunciation of desires”

  23. Jesus • “Seek yee to enter the kingdom of heaven and all else shall be given unto thee” • “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”

  24. Gita • Chapter 2, verse 54 on…